For more on the case, visit the Glenn Neasham page.
By Steven A. Morelli
The boyfriend of a client at the center of annuity agent Glenn Neasham’s case claimed he did not know the client had dementia even though an investigator’s report showed he admitted knowing -- just months after an annuity sale that led to Neasham’s theft conviction.
Neasham was convicted of felony theft from an elder in California court in October for selling an Allianz MasterDex 10 indexed annuity to an 83-year-old woman said to have been diagnosed with dementia in 2003. The prosecutor said Neasham knew about the client’s disorder but Neasham said he did not see any signs of it in two meetings with her. Two of his assistants also testified that they did not see any indications of dementia. The prosecutor, Rachel Abelson, admitted to InsuranceNewsNet that she did not prove in court that Neasham knew about the dementia.
The client, Fran Schuber, visited Neasham at his Lakeport, Calif., office on Feb.1, 2008, with her boyfriend, Louis Jochim, to discuss buying an annuity similar to one owned by Jochim. A CD of hers worth $239,000 was about to mature and the couple thought she would get a better return from an indexed annuity. Jochim had made about 10 percent on his Allianz annuity the prior year. Schuber indicated in a questionnaire that she was in good health.
Jochim, who lived with Schuber, told InsuranceNewsNet that he didn’t tell Neasham about Schuber’s dementia because he didn’t know about it.
“I didn’t know there was anything wrong with her,” said Jochim, who had a relationship with Schuber for about 12 years by the time of the transaction. “In the later years she was getting forgetful, sure, but she still did her own work. She cleaned house, did some dusting, made her bed herself if I wasn’t there to help her. And she’d do some things in the kitchen.”
Abelson, however, said Jochim told investigators two months after the transaction that he knew.
“The boyfriend told my investigators a few months after the transaction that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's,” Abelson said. “So it seems a little strange that it wouldn't have been mentioned during this transaction.”
The district attorney’s investigators had become involved after Schuber and Jochim visited a bank branch to take money from the maturing CD to purchase the annuity. The branch manager called the county elder abuse unit to complain about Jochim’s influence over Schuber.
Jochim said bank personnel were giving Schuber and him a hard time about using the money from the CD for an annuity, which would not be covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).
“The person I was talking to had an angry attitude and one thing she said is if you put the money over with Glenn, you won’t be able to get that government protection, FCIA or whatever it’s called,” Jochim said.
The bank manager spoke to Neasham by phone while the couple was at the bank. Neasham said he explained the annuity, “but then she said, ‘we don’t have a problem with the annuity – we have a problem with Lou.’ ” The manager also said Schuber was confused about the annuity.
When Schuber returned to Neasham’s office, Neasham said he asked her if she understood the annuity and if she had any questions. She said she did not and gave Neasham the $175,000 check. Later, when Neasham delivered the policy, he had Schuber and Jochim sign a statement restating the basic terms of the annuity.